Here is a sampling of photos from the 4D Summit in Boston, MA, October
11 - 14, 2011. Click on any photo to see a larger version.
Welcome to the Omni Parker House in Boston, home of all things 4D- and Wakanda-related for the next five days.
The hotel is a local legend, which translates into ancient hallways and tiny hotel rooms.
The hotel is wedged into downtown Boston, so from a fifth floor room, you need to crane your neck to see the city.
We arrived on Monday afternoon, so Eric, Spencer, and I set out to find a place to have lunch. This cemetery was a block away from the hotel but the menu didn't look that appealing to us, so we kept looking.
We settled on Kinsale Irish Pub and opted for outdoor seating in the beautiful weather.
Beverages all around! Those are blueberries floating in my beer, so I was getting my antioxidants in addition to a serving of grain.
The week's culinary goal was to eat as much seafood as possible. This was the first bowl of clam chowder for the week, and it was a worthy start indeed.
Later in the afternoon, friends from Connecticut came to visit. They were delayed in the Boston traffic by the Occupy Boston demonstration, and helicopters circling overhead confirmed that something major was going on.
We put in our phone number at Neptune Oyster, where the wait was 1.5 - 2 hours, so we had appetizers and drinks elsewhere until it was our turn to join the masses in the tiny, tiny restaurant.
We enjoyed a round of oysters followed by amazing lobster rolls. Pictured here: the cold version made with mayonnaise. I ate half of this one and half of my friend's hot version made with butter. They were both delicious, but my vote is for the cold style.
Tuesday morning, while the 4D pre-class was in session, I worked in my room until lunch, when I had plans with another friend. I walked from the hotel past another cemetery filled with history and tourists, ...
... through Boston Common, ...
... through the Boston Public Gardens, ...
... and its pretty lake and bridge, ...
... until I reached the venerable Boston Public Library, next to Copley Plaza, where my friend and I dined in the sunshine at a cafe across the street.
After the pre-class, Jeff and I had a quick meeting with Jim and Tom from 4D, then met up with Spencer and Eric for dinner in the hotel restaurant. First up on the evening's menu: Parker House rolls, invented at this very hotel.
We had clam chowder, various seafood entrees, and then topped off the meal with ...
... Boston Cream Pie, also invented at this hotel. It's not really a pie in any form -- it's a round cake with a cream layer, with chopped almonds on the sides and a hard chocolate shell on top. It was so delicious.
After dinner, it was time for a quick beer with Christian in the hotel bar before calling it a night.
After the 4D breakfast buffet of fruit and pastries the next morning, it was time to start the 4D Summit. Eric and Spencer played games on Eric's iPad while they waited for the keynote to begin.
We started out with a video of the 4D staff discussing who would be the MC, with the honors falling to Melinda.
The keynote started with a discussion of the great new features in v13 Beta, released to attendees on thumb drives.
We were anxious to meet the new executives, starting with ...
... Tom, General Manager of 4D America (who made a nice reference to Silver Surfer), ...
... and Michel, Chief Marketing Officer.
Michel's presentation was hilarious, starting with the reaction to the announcement of his hiring, ...
... and including one of his considered-but-discarded ideas for marketing Wakanda and 4D.
The keynote speakers were great, but the room was freezing. Jeff tweeted his discomfort and within moments, the air conditioning was turned down.
The first of several excellent Thibaud-and-Josh sessions covered 4D v13 more in-depth.
They talked about all of these things. Sorry I can't be any more specific here -- if you're looking for Summit notes, you're on the wrong site.
Suddenly, it was time for ¡Language Fiesta! There was music, dancing, and details on upcoming additions to the 4D language.
Without warning, we were assaulted by three-foot-tall images of Justin Bieber's face.
We suspect that Thibaud is a Belieber, since he used photos of Justin Bieber to illustrate the command Generate digest. These photos look identical but they aren't.
The second photo has a nearly invisible I <kiss> 4D image overlaid on it, as revealed by the 4D command, Compare pictures.
At the end of the morning's keynotes, an entire room of people needed to make their way from the 14th floor down to the mezzanine for lunch. It was clear that four elevators holding eight people each was not going to handle the load, so we found the stairwell for the first of many trips up and down the stairs. All of this probably burned off only a fraction of the calories in Monday's bowl of clam chowder.
Lunch was worth the 12-floor descent, especially since it included Parker House rolls. I love rolls.
Achim gave an afternoon presentation, ...
... then Jeff and Cannon staged an action shot of Jeff demoing Orchard's newest project during the break.
After the sessions, I took Wayne's advice and hit the $1 oyster happy hour special at Marliave (followed by some Nutella and banana crepes elsewhere), which took care of my appetite while waiting for the 4D Opening Reception to start.
Oh, oysters. How I love you.
Much fun was had at the reception, of course. Here are Mike and Ant, ...
... Lo and Lisa, ...
... Ant and his beer, ...
... Ant and Balinder, ...
... Lisa and Tony, ...
... Wayne and Sally, ...
... and Brian and me in our annual squished face photo. 4D was kind enough to keep the bar open well past the posted closing time, and it was much appreciated.
The next morning started with Thibaud and Josh giving a keynote on 4D's new web server.
Apparently, the Web Server is SO fast, in addition to other superlatives.
Thibaud's afternoon session on optimizing was worth the price of the Summit alone.
He had many good suggestions, including this one.
The Q&A portion of the session was entertaining, and Thibaud did his best to answer the questions, no matter how ridiculous, ...
... but what's this? Dissent from the back of the room?
Yes, sort of. Laurent stepped in once or twice to fill in a little more detail or accuracy when needed.
After the sessions, the Last Hurrah bar was the site of yet another gathering of the 4D faithful. Here are Ant, Lahav, Noah, and Lo, ...
... Mike, and me.
No time to linger over another drink, because Jeff and I needed to get to the 4D OEM dinner. Once again, Jim was our genial host.
There are some familiar faces and new faces each year.
We were honored to have Luc join us this year for the first time.
We were also joined by new marketing director Michel (on the right).
The proofreader in me was slightly distressed by the incorrect apostrophe in this sentence stenciled on the wall.
This was the fun corner of the table, obviously. Left-right: Tom, Christian, me, Jeff.
When we returned to the hotel, I took a photo of Tony in the lobby with his camera for him, so he returned the favor.
Friday morning, the Thibaud-and-Josh show presented another keynote.
Jeff and I needed to get back to Indy, so we couldn't stay for the afternoon sessions, the Evening with 4D party, or Wakanday and we left after lunch. But what a great final buffet lunch! Boston baked schrod, more Parker House rolls, a fourth and final bowl of clam chowder, and another slice of the tasty caramel chocolate cake we'd seen earlier in the week.
I caught a quick Maersk photo during takeoff from Boston, ...
... and a photo of the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway as we arrived home in Indy just slightly late for Orchard Software's company party.